There is surely no better way to voyage between lush Indonesian archipelagos than beneath thousands of feet of billowing sails, your evenings spent reflecting on the day’s adventures with a sundowner on teak decks.
2017 will see Star Clippers take to Indonesian waters for the very first time, a choice of 19 departures between May and October embarking on 7-14 night sailings from Bali and Singapore. The four-masted Star Clipper will sail to islands thick with jungle and edged in white sand and turquoise waters, its smaller size enabling it to show you sights others will never have the chance to experience.
Tempted? Here’s why you need to visit Indonesia with Star Clippers in 2017.
Indonesia is made up of thousands of volcanic islands and where there are islands, there are beaches. Those found here are some of the best in the world; the sands a blend of coral, gold and talcum white, and the waters warmed by Indonesia’s proximity to the Equator.
Visit Pink Beach in Lombok, where coral particles mix with coconut-white sand to create a stunning pink hue that contrasts against bright turquoise water. Few drivers will make the journey along the well-worn roads that lead to Pink Beach, but that’s no problem for Star Clipper; your ship will sail straight into the picturesque cover.
Elsewhere, you can live like Robinson Crusoe in the Gili Islands, an archipelago in the Bali Sea. The islands were uninhabited as recently as 30 years ago and motorised transport is still prohibited on the charmingly under-developed paradise islands. Fortunately, it’s easy to come across a coconut vendor or beach bungalow restaurant, along with locals who are always happy to pass time with a chat or a game of chess on the sand. Watch the sunset of Bali’s Mount Atung on an evening horse ride along the beach of Gili Trawangan, before heading to Gili Meno; the smallest and most serene of the three islands. You can walk the entire perimeter of Gili Meno in a couple of hours, but that is irrelevant; once you see the beach, you won’t plan on leaving your hammock any time soon.
With beach and jungle comes wildlife and the aforementioned Gili Meno is as good a place to start as any. Avid divers are lured here by the Gili Meno Wall, an infamous diving spot on the west of the island that is famed for the large number of turtles that call it home. Of course, you’ll find plenty here besides the charming testudines, with lobster, eagle rays, lion fish and more spotted amongst the corals. You needn’t venture into the deep to see Gili Meno’s most famous residents though; take a dip in the sparkling shallows and there’s every chance an inquisitive turtle might introduce itself. Even better, head to the local turtle sanctuary at the right time and you might even find yourself involved in getting the hatchlings to the safety of the sea, an experience that isn’t forgotten in a hurry.
Of course, Indonesia’s most infamous creature is the Komodo dragon, a beast you’re likely to stumble across on your call into the Komodo National Park. Stumble across isn’t the best way to put it of course, as it’s difficult to miss the largest lizard species in the world at up to 3 metres long and 70kg in weight. Unfortunately, the Komodo dragon is as endangered as it is fascinating, so seeing it thrive in its natural habitat promises to be a highlight of your Star Clippers Indonesian escape.
Bali’s locals are as beguiling as its beaches. An insight into real Balinese life is found amidst stilted bungalows with thatched roofs and mud walls, chickens and goats entertaining the children who play outside. Your village visits can take you to rice paddies, into ceremonial temples and even into the kitchens of local families, where they will share the cooking practices that have gone unchanged for years. On a port call to the traditional village of Wera, you will have the opportunity to see traditional Indonesian sailing ships known as ‘Pinisi’ being crafted by locals, their long bow and towering masts bearing a great likeness to your own transport around the islands, Star Clipper. In Indonesian towns, incense wafts through warm air, streets are filled with bustling markets and a rainbow of colours, and Hindi culture is conveyed by eccentric gods and exotic experiences. It’s a million miles away from life at home and it is why we travel; to see the world through new eyes.
Tall ship sailing specialist Star Clippers will visit Indonesia for the first time in 2017. The cruise line, which operates three fully-crewed clippers, is offering a choice of 19 departures between May 6th and October 14th 2017, and sailings of 7, 10, 11 and 14 nights, from Bali and Singapore, including Bali round trips and itineraries from Bali to Singapore and reverse. Indonesian sailings are on sale soon, with fares starting at £1,459 per person (cruise only). Speak to your Sales Consultant today to make sure you’re first on the list when Star Clippers’ Indonesian itineraries go on sale.